Texas

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Updated on March 5, 1998


Texas -

The Texas Education Code (13.038) charged the State Board and Texas higher education system to develop a "comprehensive teaching induction program for the probationary period". Pilot programs were developed and implemented in 1988-89 and 1989-90. In the latter year three programs were awarded state funding to pilot variations of the state's program. These provided grants to SW Texas State University, Abilene Independent School District, and Education service Center VI-Huntsville. Some good program evaluation and mentoring impact data were captured in the pilot program phase.

In 1989 the Texas Commissioner's Advisory Committee on Teacher Induction published a mentoring program "framework" titled "Beginning Teacher Induction Plan for Texas Schools", Hurley, A. (1989). Austin, Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. This framework was intended to provide guidance for programs which was based on the experiences of the initial pilot mentoring programs. These mentoring programs used both an assistance and assessment approach for work with the new teachers. The guidelines called for mentors and novice teachers to observe each other, for districts to provide released time for that work, and for districts to provide on-going support through support seminars and sharing sessions.

Mentoring in Texas during that early pilot period was researched by a 1990 dissertation "The Dimension of the Mentor Teacher in Teacher Induction Programs: The State Perspective" Petersen, S. (1990). Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas. That study discusses the roles mentors play in support of new teachers and the challenges inherent to that role. The one year program includes cooperative supervision of new teachers (with no previous experience) by mentors, administrators, and university faculty members, orientation, and "specialized induction year...activities" approved by the district.

The requirement was implemented state-wide as the Texas Induction Year Program for Beginning Teachers (TIYPBT) in 1991. The TIYPBT has 7 goals including retention, socialization, improved instruction, and K-16 collaboration. State guidelines suggest collaborative governance of the local programs and support focused on the needs of new teachers, mentors and mentor training, and program evaluations. A part of that collaboration was the state's interest in involving teacher education institutions in school mentoring programs. There was, however, not sufficient funding to support any more programs other than the existing program pilots.

Also by 199O Texas had instituted the Alternative Certification Program (ACP) which certifies as teachers persons with no teacher training, a B.A degree with a "C+" GPA and passing scores on the state basic skills tests for content. These teachers are "interns" and are required to have the minimum course hours for certification in the subject they will teach. While interns are paid beginning teacher salaries, they must contribute to the cost of the program ($2,500 in one report), attend required training seminars, work with a mentor teacher, and observe other experienced teachers for 20 hours. See Franke, D. (1991). "The Alternative Route: Testimonial From a Texas Teacher". Educational Leadership (49) 3, pages 34-35. ASCD.

In 1991 the Texas Legislature created and funded a state-wide network of Centers for Professional Development and Technology. Their purpose was to create collaboratives of all institutions involved in teacher education and professional development, and to restructure teacher development in Texas. In 1992 8 centers were created. In 1993 14 had been created, and the number continued to increase until in 1997 30 centers were in operation, comprising 43 universities, 15 service centers, and 113 school districts. To that point the State had provided $46 in funding. Many of these centers have conducted mentoring training, especially for student teaching supervisors and school-based cooperating teachers, to ensure that these veteran teachers have the mentoring skills needed to help preservice and novice teachers succeed.

Also in 1992 the state sought funding of $2000 per new teacher to support a mentoring program state-wide. Apparently that funding was not granted by the state legislature. The Texas program called for payment to mentors of $1500, along with provision of a support team, requirements for new teacher orientation, and a requirement for mentor training. The mentor training included coaching skills, models of instruction, and use of the Texas Teacher Appraisal System. Team members visit the new teacher's classroom to observe at least twice each semester. The team is to provide the new teacher feed back and coaching to improve instruction.

In 1998 the Texas State Board for Educator Certification published a series of 7 monographs describing aspects of the work of the Centers for Professional Development and Technology. Monograph #1 on "Field-Based Teacher Education" and Monograph #2 on "Professional Development Schools" both discuss the role of the mentor teacher in the teacher development process. The other monographs discuss how the Centers use assessment, technology, and other innovations. Copies of the "Restructuring Teacher Education Series can be obtained from the Texas State Board for Educator Certification, 1001 Trinity, Austin, Texas, 78701. Include $5 to cover the cost of shipping.

Also in 1998 the only state-wide mentoring conversation in Texas is at the State Board for Educator Certification Panel which has made recommendations for an "Induction Support System" for conditionally certified teachers. This Induction Support System is a part of a proposed Texas Framework for Educator Preparation and Certification.

The Texas Education Agency (TEA), the State Dept. of Education has a web site at <http://www.tea.state.tx.us>. That site's section on state publications (dated November 1996) lists two items on mentoring/induction, but only the first was still available in January 1998. These are "Induction Year for New Teachers" a 1991 brochure which is available for free from the TEA. The second, "Mentor Teacher Training For Texas Teachers", is out of print and this author has been unable to locate a copy. It also was published in 1991 and when it was available it cost $15.00. You can contact the agency's Communications/Public Information Division about publications or to order. They are at 1701 N. Congress Ave, Austin, TX 78701-1494, 512-463-9744 or FAX 512-463-9838.

The contact for the Texas Induction Year Program for Beginning Teachers is Dr. Jean Holden, Division of Teacher Education, (TEA) at 512-475-3431.


If you are aware of incorrect statements in this material OR if you can add authoritative new information concerning mentoring and induction in the various United States, please contact Barry Sweeny with that information. His e-mail is

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